Box Office: “The Nun” scares the hell out of “Crazy Rich Asians” with $50 million opening

nun1I was chatting with Jordan, one of my favorite cineplex managers at one of the busiest theaters in the entire Regal Cinemas chain, on my way in to see “Peppermint” and “The Nun” the other day, pondering what sort of weekend we’d see at the box office.

“Maybe things’ll pick up with ‘Predator,'” he says. “But I don’t know. Dead couple of weekends.”

Well, it’s a brand, and that’s what fans flock to — the familiar, the “universe.”

Even “The Nun” I added, has that “brand” going for it — ‘Conjuring’ universe and all.

But hell’s bells, NOBODY saw this coming. A $50 million blowup for a movie exploring the history of a character from “Conjuring 2,” pre-“Annabelle,” pre-“Conjuring?”

The $5 million+ opening Thursday night was the first sign — almost 10 times what “Peppermint,” the other big new release grabbed that night ($800K).

Demian Bichir and Tessa Farmiga are both in a blockbuster. Imagine that. I’d love to have a fly on the wall when older sister Vera Farmiga pitched baby sis on horror. “Just DO it. Money in the bank.” Even without profit sharing points, both stars should see their profiles rise.

Not a great movie, light on frights. But so what?

“Peppermint” didn’t earn great reviews either, but STX can put $12 million, or their share of it, in the vaults by midnight Sunday. Not bad for a Jennifer Garner action outing that needed a better villain and maybe a less over-explained and “justified” plot.

“Crazy Rich Asians” nudged past the other Chinese flavored smash of the summer, “The Meg,” and is still going strong enough to hit $150 before it loses its screens. It leads “Meg” $135 to $130 now.

And Spike Lee’s “BlackKklansman” is the comeback Jordan Peele hoped it would be. The “Get Out” director’s producing help turned this into the first Spike movie to reach $50 million (by next weekend) in ages.

 

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